January 02, 2012
abbreviate (verb)
\uh-BREE-vee-ayt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to make briefer : shorten; especially : to reduce (as a word) to a shorter form intended to stand for the whole
How do you use it?
To abbreviate "sealed with a kiss," Deenah wrote "SWAK" on the back of the envelope for the birthday card she was sending to Brad.
Are you a word wiz?

Which word do you think is related to "abbreviate"?

In brief, the correct answer is B. "Abbreviate" and "abridge" both mean "to make shorter," so it probably will come as no surprise that both derive from the Latin verb "brevis," meaning "short." "Abbreviate" first appeared in print in English in the 15th century. It comes from Latin "abbreviatus," a form of "abbreviare," which in turn can be traced back to "brevis." "Abridge," which appeared a century earlier, also comes from "abbreviare," arriving in English via Anglo-French (the French language used in medieval England). Another relative you should briefly note: "brevis" is also the ancestor of the English word "brief."
Archive RSS Feed